The Treaty of Lisbon formally increased the European Parliament’s (EP) powers in the trade policy of the EU, elevating its status to that of co-legislator in the process, after over a decade of the EP pursuing a greater role in this area. The Convention model of the early 2000s that incorporated the EP in treaty-making assisted the EP in persuading other EU institutions of the desirability of such a move, which enhanced the legitimacy of EU actions. This chapter charts the process whereby the EP was empowered in trade policy, and focuses on some key examples of how the EP has used these new powers in practice (in the ratification stage of the EU-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement and in the negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). The examples illustrate how the EP has been involved in all aspects and phases of trade negotiations, and, crucially, how its new powers have made it the target of increased lobbying activity and pressures. The chapter ends by speculating on potential future developments in trade policy resulting from these new dynamics.
John Erik Fossum and Guri Rosén
This chapter discusses the issue of democratic control and accountability in the realm of EU external relations. Legislative assemblies are key instruments in ensuring democratic control. The multilevel EU has developed a distinctive structure of legislative relations that shapes its ability to exercise democratic control and accountability of external relations. A distinctive feature of legislative relations within the EU context is that they connect parliaments across levels of governing, with traits that resemble a multilevel parliamentary field (MLPF). There are specific features of how states have come together to shape and conduct the wide range of issue-areas that make up EU external relations, and these vary considerably. In assessing whether or the extent to which the EU’s MLPF incorporates EU external relations we pay attention to how they are structured and how they vary. We also consider how extensive the incorporation is and what the democratic implications might be.